I’m finally back! It’s been a whirlwind few months since I’ve truly blogged regularly, but I’ve accomplished some very important things.
1. Eating my way through pizza in the southwest. Okay, so I haven’t eaten ALL the pizza in the southwest, but I’ve eaten quite a bit. Here are some of the highlights…
- Last weekend I went to the famed Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona. It was splendiforous and wonderful and delicious. Apparently Pizzeria Bianco is supposed to be the best pizza in the country. Don’t get me wrong, the pizza was completely fabulous, but my dad and I both agreed that a greasy slice of pizza from any small shop in NYC is pretty darn great too.
- Oh, and I had pizza at this place called Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink. They do this butternut squash and homemade ricotta pizza that is PHE-NOM-EN-AL. I’ve also had their potato and pecorino pie. It was supah yum.
- I told you a little while back about another pizza that stole my heart. I had it in San Diego at this place called Cucina Urbana. Mushrooms + cheese + truffle oil = love.
- In the last few months I’ve also MADE a ton of pizza. There was the homemade pumpkin stuffed crust pizza in January…
- And the pizza that stole my heart in February: beet dough, lots of mozz, and veggies galore. Maybe it was because it was pink and awesome.
- And finally the garlic-y herby, three cheese pizza pie in March. This pie kept the vampires away and stole my heart back from the beet pizza in February. Disclaimer: I apologize for the sub-par Instagram photo. The pie was truly a lot more impressive than my iPhone could capture.
2. Actually that’s basically all I did.
Last Year: Chocolate Chip Strawberry Pancakes
Two Years Ago: Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup with Pesto Cream
White Pizza with Herb and Garlic Crust
Makes 1 pizza (can easily feed 4-5)
This pizza is delicious! The crust is wonderfully spiced and has a nice bite. You can change how thin or thick you make the crust by using a large (or smaller) pan. I made my pizza on a baking sheet and pulled it out to the sides of the sheet. A pizza stone is wonderful because it creates a crispy crust (I just didn’t have one).
The toppings I used are only suggestions. Feel free to get wild!
For the Dough
- 1 1/8 cups warm water (100-105 degrees)
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
For the Toppings
- 3-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or more/less depending on preference)
- 1-1/2 cups ricotta salata cheese (this is the hard, crumbly ricotta, not the soft, creamy stuff that you use in lasagne)
- Parmesan for garnish
Other topping ideas: spinach, artichoke, olives, mushrooms (there are so many to choose), chicken, meatballs, pesto, fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, pepperoni, eggs (I’ve heard this is really good, but I’ve never tried it myself), feta cheese, goat cheese, sweet potato, etc…
1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, garlic powder and dried basil, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour (you don’t need to use all if it is not needed) in to the dough, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Alternatively if you’re not making your pizza now read the STORAGE directions below.
3. After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a roll pin or your hands (I found hands to be more effective), form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas). Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes. While the dough is rising again, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Mix it with the garlic and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
Bring the dough back out and using a spoon or pastry brush, douse the outside edges with the butter and garlic mixture. You can spread the butter all over, just make sure to focus on the edges. Use it all up! Continue to top your pizza with the mozzarella, ricotta salata, and parmesan (or other toppings!). Bake the pizza for 23-25 minutes (or longer if needed, depending on your toppings), or until crust and cheese are both golden. While pizza is baking, melt remaining butter and combine with the last tablespoon of parmesan.
Remove pizza from over and immediately brush the outside edges with parmesan butter, using it all up. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan over top if desired. Serve! *The cheese will be hot right out of the oven, be careful!*
Storage: For the DOUGH: Store dough in the fridge well-wrapped (I used plastic wrap) for up to one week. If it’s not well-wrapped, it will bust out of the plastic wrap because the yeast is still doing it’s thing. Let the dough come to room temp for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. The dough may also be frozen for up to 1 month (I haven’t actually tried longer). Let the dough sit in the fridge overnight before cooking and then take it out 20-30 minutes before baking to get to room temp.
For the COOKED PIZZA: Wrap the pizza well or put in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Pizza may be frozen for up to one month.
Recipe from How Sweet Eats